Twin Valley Welcome Center
Your gateway to the region's most biologically rich natural area
The Twin Valley Welcome Center at Germantown MetroPark is under construction. The former Nature Center is transitioning to a space that will provide a more engaging atmosphere for visitors to orient themselves and learn more about the importance of this protected watershed of one of the most biologically rich creeks in Ohio.
The Twin Valley includes a diversity of habitats, such as forests, succession areas, grasslands, wetlands, streams, rivers and ponds. The land has exceptional spring wildflower displays; houses rare tracts of majestic old-growth forest; includes numerous prairies and associated native plants, birds, insects and other wildlife; and contains succession areas where nature’s cycles are in evidence. The primary waterway, Twin Creek, has the highest diversity of macroinvertebrates in Ohio and the second-highest diversity of fish. The Twin Valley exemplifies best practices in habitat restoration and wildlife management. The return of wildlife, especially such large predators as bobcats, to the land is living testament to the success of conservation activities.
The need for the Twin Valley Welcome Center is based on an interpretive plan completed in fall 2013, which identified the need for a dedicated facility to serve as a gateway to the Twin Valley. The plan also identified the need for updates to the exhibits, installed in the Germantown Nature Center in the late 1980s, along with structural updates to the building. These updates include larger, accessible restrooms and drinking water available during park hours.
The bird viewing area from the building’s Nature Center days will continue to offer a peek into the world of our feathered friends.
Several ambassador animals will continue to call the facility home. Volunteers and staff will bring them out during high visitation at the Twin Valley Welcome Center, public programs and organized programs for such groups as scouts and schools.
Additional phases of the project, implemented as funding allows, call for the construction of:
- A bird blind, which will be accessible to the public during all park hours, including during birds’ peak activity times of early morning and evening, and have climate modification features so it’s comfortable year-round.
- An outdoor group gathering area.
- A covered porch where hikers can take shelter from inclement weather.
- Open-air interpretive elements leading from the parking lot to the trails and Twin Valley Welcome Center.
With the completion of phase two, the Twin Valley Welcome Center will be an “inside out” nature center where visitors can begin their relationship with the Twin Valley and Five Rivers MetroParks. The center will be a focal point that fosters visitor exposure to (and appreciation for) the region’s Twin Valley ecology, new and ongoing relationships between the public and Five Rivers MetroParks and a culture and community of engaged nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike. In addition, a proposed hiking center will include:
- An area to rent such equipment as tents, backpacks and sleeping bags (details still being developed).
- Potable water and restrooms, accessible and available year-round.
- Guidance regarding Leave No Trace practices and related information.